The Uniting Church in Australia Assembly is committing to reduce its carbon footprint to achieve net zero emissions by 2040.
The commitment forms part of a new Climate Action Plan designed to encourage action across the Church.
The Action Plan includes steps to cut back greenhouse gas emissions by 5 per cent per annum, as well as to advocate for better climate policies and to prioritise the voices of First Peoples and those impacted most by climate change.
Assembly Associate General Secretary Rob Floyd said the Action Plan is a response to the 15th Assembly resolution that called upon the Church to consider ways to reduce its own contribution to climate change.
“The Assembly Standing Committee, responding to this decision, set the task of preparing a National Climate Action Plan,” said Mr Floyd.
The plan has as its vision:
We seek the flourishing of the whole of God’s Creation and all its creatures. We act to renew the Earth from the damage done and stand in solidarity with people most impacted by human-induced climate change. Government, churches, businesses and the wider community work together for a sustainable future.
“While the actions within the plan are focused primarily on reducing emissions in the work of the Assembly, the aim is to draw in other parts of the Church in similar actions to cut back to net-zero emissions as a whole Church.”
“I know some part of our Church are on the way to meeting similar targets. We invite other Councils, agencies and members of the Church to share in the journey and come on board with this commitment.”
Mr Floyd said the Uniting Church had long spoken out for greater action on climate and this plan moved from talk to action.
“We believe that it is important to ‘walk the talk’ in how we care for God’s creation and this commitment to become a Zero Emissions Church will provide credibility to the Church’s ongoing advocacy.”
The UCA Assembly took steps to divest from fossil fuels in 2014, following the lead from the NSW/ACT Synod.
The release of the Climate Action Plan coincides with the worldwide celebration of a Season of Creation and the Global Day of Climate Action on 25 September, part of the School Strike 4 Climate movement.
As part of the Global Day of Climate Action, the Assembly’s Working for Justice Circle is encouraging people to share a photo of themselves with the words “Fund our Future Not Gas” in support of the call on the Australian Government to invest in jobs that will drive the transition to renewable energy and reduce emissions.
Share your photo:
- On the Working for Justice Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/workingforjustice
(If you are not a member you can apply to join – please note you will need to accept the Group rules)
- Share via messenger to the Assembly Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/UnitingChurchAu
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org